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Arizona pushes for speedier death-penalty appeals

PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne wants a court to force the
Justice Department to act on his request to fast-track federal death penalty
appeals in Arizona cases.

Horne filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia Circuit Monday. The planned suit will ask the court to review the
Justice Department’s decision to delay acting on Horne’s request.

The state asked the Justice Department to allow it to participate in a program
that brings quicker action on appeals. The department responded last month by
saying it was still working on rules for the program and would consider
Arizona’s request when the rules are completed.

Death penalty cases in the western U.S. now take nearly 20 years for the
appeals process to be exhausted.


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